Creek Military Campaign


Creek Warrior by Frederic Remington, 1906

Creek Warrior by Frederic Remington, 1906

The Creek War, occurring between 1813 and 1814, also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War. It was a regional war between opposing Creek factions against European empires and the United States, taking place largely in Alabama and along the Gulf Coast.

Since the early 19th century, the Creek Indians of present-day Georgia and Alabama were deeply troubled by the continuing encroachment of white settlers onto their lands. Though tribal leaders initially counseled neutrality and peace, this would change when Shawnee Chief Tecumseh visited the southern tribes, urging a confederation to end the encroachment on their lands and to maintain their way of life. He won many ardent supporters among the younger warriors, who joined with the northern Indians and the British.

The first of the Creek campaigns constituted an initial phase of the War of 1812, as a series of raids were launched against white settlements. Later, the war reached crisis proportions when the Upper Creek, along with British soldiers, sacked Fort Mims, Alabama in August 1813, massacring more than 500 men, women, and children.

Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama

Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama

These same Indians, grown to a force of about 900 warriors, were decisively beaten at Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama in late March 1814 by Andrew Jackson and his force of about 2,000 troops, plus several hundred friendly Indians. Eventually, the vast majority of Creek Indians were sent Indian Territory in 1832. Most of the rest of Creek who remained the Southeast were also moved to Indian Territory in 1836-37, after participating in the Second Seminole War.

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated February 2020.

Also See:

Battles and Massacres of the Indian Wars

Indian War List and Timeline

Indian Wars

Indian Wars of the Frontier West by Emerson Hough

Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History